Experienced Defense Counsel Serving Clients Throughout Central Pennsylvania

Matt M. McClenahen
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Alcohol Offenses

Building A Defense Against Alcohol Offenses

Attorney Matt McClenahen has been providing effective representation of people charged with underage drinking, public drunkenness, furnishing alcohol to minors and other alcohol-related offenses since before some of his current clients were born. A Penn State alumnus who returned to State College to practice law, attorney McClenahen is well-versed in student drinking culture. He also knows ways to undo the damage if you either had a night of poor decisions or you simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Potential Consequences Of Alcohol-Related Summary Offenses Like Underage Drinking And Public Drunkenness

At a party school like Penn State, alcohol-related charges such as underage drinking and public drunkenness are common. In addition to underage drinking and public drunkenness, it is not uncommon for drunk people to also be charged with additional summary offenses arising from their impaired judgment. A fight or scuffle could result in charges such as harassment and disorderly conduct or even more serious charges, like simple assault or aggravated assault, if someone is injured. Drunk people have been known to walk out of stores forgetting to pay, resulting in a retail theft charge. Sometimes a drunk student will pull out a fake ID and hand it to a cop instead of his or her real ID.

Public drunkenness and underage drinking carry a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $500 for a first offense or up to $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. Other summary offenses under the Pennsylvania crimes code carry a maximum fine of $300 and up to 90 days in jail. Few people are sentenced to jail for summary offenses. Thus, in these types of cases, we are usually more focused on keeping convictions off your record than keeping you out of jail.

An experienced defense lawyer like attorney McClenahen can analyze your case to see if you have a viable defense. Even if you don’t have a viable defense, we may be able to procure an alternative disposition, which allows for your charges to be dismissed and ultimately expunged. There are also summary offense cases we win at trial even when all the evidence appears to be stacked against the defendant. This happens in cases where the police make mistakes. An experienced defense attorney can recognize and exploit such mistakes made by a police officer who usually does not have the assistance of an assistant district attorney at summary trials before a magisterial district judge.

Expungement: Getting An Underage Drinking Or Other Summary Offense Off Your Record

If you are undergoing a background check, it is advisable to make sure you have nothing on your record. Attorney McClenahen routinely represents people in expungement matters. If you are found not guilty at trial or you have had your charges dismissed through an alternative disposition, we can file for expungement right away. If you are convicted of underage drinking, we can file for expungement when you reach the age of 21, provided that you have complied with all aspects of sentencing. We can expunge other summary offense convictions from your record as long as you have been crime-free for a five-year period. Obviously, it is better to nip these things in the bud than to wait five years to get a summary conviction off your record, but this is an escape hatch for people experiencing problems due to their record.

Speak With An Experienced Attorney In Central Pennsylvania

Attorney McClenahen offers free initial consultations. For representation in underage drinking, public drunkenness or fake ID cases, contact the McClenahen Law Firm in State College. Attorney McClenahen can be reached by phone at 814-308-0870 or through the online contact form.